Seeds being planted for safe return to play

By Don Fennell

Published 11:39 PDT, Tue August 18, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

In a year when few things seem normal, preparing for the fall sports season is equally confusing.

The days immediately following Labour Day usually signal a return to routines like work, school and play. But in 2020 uncertainty is trumping certainty, and that’s forced local sports enthusiasts to play a game of wait and see as safety continues to be the top priority.

Richmond’s local sport organizations are to be praised for all their hard work to ensure the safety of their participants, volunteers and staff while keeping their sport alive in the community since returning to the fields a few weeks ago,” says city spokesperson Clay Adams. “The efforts being taken by many Richmond sports groups to bring participants back with modified skill development is helping the community remain connected and involved during this challenging time.” 

Having said that, none of the community sports groups are close to pre-COVID-19 competition and games right now. Adams says local sports groups that rent outdoor field space are presently working with their provincial organizations, ViaSport, and Sport BC, to determine what aspects they can resume through a “Return to Sport” plan. 

The ‘Return to Sport’ plan details requirements for sanitation, hygiene, physical distancing, and a graduated return to play strategy along with examples of skill development activities and drills that are appropriate for each phase of their plan. Some groups such as softball and baseball are playing modified games within their own organization, while others such as soccer and football are not playing any games or scrimmages due to contact being a critical part of the sport. 

“Progression to modified games will be different for each sport, but there are no pending changes to what and how each may progress in the coming weeks as it relates to games, tournaments and travel outside of Richmond for competition,” Adams says.

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